Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marianne Evans: Be Still...and Know...

Marianne Evans

Some days, my inbox just swirls, a never-ending delivery system of opportunities good and bad. A lot of the junk mail is easy to toss—those winning lottery notifications from Nigeria, the ads for hair care, medications, dating sites. But along come the ones worth exploring: invitations to book launches for authors I love, invitations to speak at events, invitations from supportive booksellers who want to host signings.

One missive in particular ended my scrolling. It originated from my home church in Southeast Michigan. ‘Come to our three-day Lenten retreat and get in touch with the stillness of God’s presence!’

The message made me think. God. Stillness. How can I make them blend and harmonize in the midst of a world bent on supersonic speed, instant gratification, instant and quantifiable results?

I read through the registration information, and there came no twitches of excitement and eagerness. Rather, I sighed—and wilted at the keyboard. Defeat seeped in. I wanted to go, certainly. The offering was meaningful. But along came a spike in anxiety, a never ending battle to reconcile what I can do with what I can’t—no matter how enriching.

I’m ashamed to say my first thought was this: If I give up three nights during my overcrowded work week to attend this mission, how would I find the time and energy to pay attention to everything else that needed ‘doing’ in my life?

To be blunt, and perfectly honest, stillness is a precious commodity in my life. Professional obligations crowd in against my family life, my writing ministry, time spent with friends. Additionally, I find technology and its outpouring of information to be a blessing and a curse. So many wonderful opportunities vie for my attention. There are days I drink it in and find myself graced with spiritual growth. Other days, I just drown. So much to do, so little time. So many worthwhile endeavors, so spare my ability to spread thin and do it all.

When I become overwhelmed, prayer life suffers. Meditation suffers. Stillness and relationship with God suffers. None of that can stand. First of all, how could I have ever looked at this mission as ‘giving up’ time? That revised attitude followed me into the mission, which I gratefully attended. After all, nothing is ‘given up’ when I immerse myself in worship, in thanksgiving, in the restorative energy and vitality of God’s Word.

Attending the retreat at my church was a treat—an illuminating trio of evenings where I laughed, was touched, and grew in my faith. I was refreshed and renewed. Why? Because I stopped. I went still. I prayed. I focused—focused on the God who loves me, and provides for me always.

I needed that Lenten lesson, very much.

Scriptural Reflection and Prayer:

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Let the words sink in. Absorb them. When life overwhelms, the most effective solution is often times the most difficult: Step back. Breathe.  Pray. Don’t be afraid to rest and reflect.

Lord, the assurance of Your provision is founded in the truth of Your Word. Help us always to know that You are watching over us, You are guiding our very footsteps toward greater life, and love, in You.

Marianne Evans is a multi-award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Readers laud her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’

Marianne’s novel, Devotion earned the prestigious Bookseller’s Best Award from Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America as well as Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements from the ACRA, a chapter of RWA.  Hearts Communion earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as Best Inspirational Romance from ACRA. Her novella Finding Home earned the Selah Award for excellence in Christian fiction and Evans has also earned acclaim in such RWA contests as The International Digital Awards, The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.

Happily married and the mother of two, Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan who is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Connect at:

Marianne's upcoming release,
coming April 14th:

Nothing fills Jodie Cunningham's spirit like sharing contemporary Christian music and scriptural insights on her morning drive radio show at KWJD. But lately, she’s overwhelmed and depleted by family circumstances that have led her from Dallas to Angel Falls, Texas and Heart's Haven apartment complex.

Kevin Mitchell is the groundskeeper at Heart's Haven—a place famous for angelic intercession and loving connections. His uncle owns the facility, but he's ailing. Kevin eagerly chips in, and as he prepares the grounds for a spring wedding, he meets Jodie. They begin to work together to make Heart's Haven sparkle.

But just as Kevin succeeds at coaxing Jodie's heart to bloom, tragedy strikes in a double dose that tests both their strength of faith and the love they've found.

Purchase Link:

Pelican Book Group


  1. Wonderful post, Marianne, at the right time. Lent is a time to stop, reflect and gather up the peace of the Lord. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Welcome to Write Right!, Marianne! LOVED your devotion! The best moments in life are those spent alone with God, in the stillness of His Spirit. They are the moments that give us strength to face the noisy, unorganized, cluttered, frustrating, and hard to bear moments that make up most of our lives. Thank God for His sweet, quiet stillness!

  3. Thank you, ladies! Love you both - honored to write and 'sister-hood' with you!! Here's the miracle...I fretted over time constraints, and I never, ever should have. I ended up meeting my daily needs and spending time in worship. Win-win. :-D God is faithful! xo <3 Delia, thanks again for letting me pay a visit!

  4. Loved the blog! All we need to do is learn to be still and listen to god. I know i am not good at that I usually want answers now, but god says in His time not mine. Sounds like a wonderful retreat.
    Blessings, thanks for reminding me of this today.

    1. I agree, Diana...would've loved to attend that retreat! :)

    2. Hi, Diana! So glad you stopped by. The Lenten retreat was awesome - laughter, tears and stuff to make you think--we can't be afraid to stand up for what's RIGHT, even when modern culture tells us we're "Wrong".

  5. Replies
    1. Hey there, Carla! Thanks so much for stopping by. Marianne delivered, as always, didn't she? :)

    2. Aww, Carla, thanks!! <3 I hope you were encouraged. Hugs, lady! And, Delia - you're waaaayyyy too kind. xo

  6. Very helpful reminders, Marianne. Xoxo

    1. Hi, Tanya! Thanks so much for taking time to drop by and say hello.

    2. Hi there, Miss Tanya!! Hope you're enjoying your trip (so jealous!!) Thanks for your visit, and sharing your encouragement - I appreciate you!!!! xo

  7. Great post. I can relate to so many things you mentioned. Oh, yeah, I need to take some time to be still.

    1. We all do, Mary. I can relate, as well. Thank you for stopping by!

  8. This is one of my favorite verses. Thanks for the sweet reminder to be still and know...So glad you were able to attend the mission!

    1. I love this verse too, Marian. Wish we all could've been at the mission with Miss Marianne! :)